STEM Learning CentersBuilding STEM Learning on the West Side
5044 West Harrison
Chicago, IL 60644
Bethel New Life Campus
1150 N. Lamon
Chicago, IL 60651
A Place Based Model in the heart of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood
Project Exploration’s STEM Learning Centers serve as regional anchors for high-quality STEM out-of-school time learning opportunities, providing free and accessible STEM learning hubs for West Side youth, and families. In partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, ABC Network 3 office, and a network of world-renowned partners, PE STEM Learning Centers aim to amplify the value of STEM learning in the community, and strengthen community cohesion through family programming, and bring citywide STEM resources and programs to the local community.
Rooted in a place-based pedagogy, Project Exploration intentionally places students at the center of solving community problems with STEM tools that are developed alongside STEM professionals, who often come from the same Chicago communities as students and/or are reflections of the youth we serve in both demographics and experiences. Projects on which students have worked on at PE STEM Learning Centers include:
- Establishing and caring for a community garden
- Programming an app which helps community members find support services and organizations
- Engineering a prototype for a mask sanitizing device
- Designing outreach protocol informed by data, to help PE reach more students and provide programs within the community
Project Exploration envisions that STEM Learning Centers will provide
- Catalyzing and modeling excellence in STEM education by offering extended learning programs that reflect best practices in STEM education.
- Linking and leveraging existing STEM learning initiatives across the city to the local community.
- Expanding the impact of the regional STEM schools by providing a community-based hub of STEM programming beyond the classroom.
- Strengthening the community’s reputation as a place of quality STEM education and innovation.
STEM Learning Center Programs
Serving students from kindergarten to 8th grade
2021/22 Fall programs will resume in-person at the Bethel New Life Campus location on November 15, 2021 and run until December 17, 2021
2021/22 Spring programs kick off on February 7, 2022 and adjourn on May 20, 2022
Doors open at 3:00 pm and pick up is no later than 6:00 pm
Winter & Spring Break Camp
Programs are available for middle school and high school students.
Winter break schedule is released in early December.
Spring break camp occurs during Chicago Public School spring break.
Summer STEM Camp
Summer STEM Camp is available for students from K-8th grade.
Summer camp is 8 weeks long from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Program starts July 1st through August 23rd.